, 21 tweets, 18 min read
1/20 Elections Canada political advertising rules go into effect in June

Here are the basics, but this #THREAD describes many ways Bill #C76 is utterly useless to protect #CDNpoli & #Elxn43 from interference in a digital world

It's truly a huge failure

2/20 Bill #C76 can be reduced to nothing more than the digital administration of political ads, with loopholes so large that it can't serve any purpose

It does nothing whatsoever to insulate #CDNpoli from foreign interference, or partisan interests subverting #Elxn43 limitations
3/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Bill #C76 requires websites that provide paid advertising space to keep a registry of who paid for political ads

Before this legislation, clever citizens who are experienced in #tech were able to suss out that info & broadcast to the social media ecosystem
4/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

All Bill #C76 accomplishes is saving techies 10 minutes of investigatory legwork

Now the names of political advertisers have to be made available, but there is no accompanying obligation to police ads for dys-information or connection to foreign interests
5/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

So that's great

Elections Canada can punish website owners for failing to keep a list of clients who pay for political ads

But they still won't punish anyone for the content itself

It seems rather pointless to make a list, if nothing can be done with it
6/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Bill #C76 only affects #CDNmedia with over 3 million unique monthly visitors

So CBC, CTV, Global, Toronto Star + Globe & Mail will have to keep a list of paying political advertisers

But it's not applicable to Macleans, Rebel Media, Ontario Proud, or Tyee
7/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Bill #C76 doesn't apply to blogging websites either, because they don't reach 3 million monthly unique visitors

That means any non-official party member can spread propaganda till their heart is content, so long as they create & publish material themselves
8/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

If a blogger doesn't display a paid advertising banner or widget, Bill #C76 doesn't apply

If non-official party members wish to spread partisan propaganda, they can skirt the legislation by volunteering without any money changing hands
9/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Bill #C76 is so preposterous that a blogger can still be paid for partisan ads, so long as they don't register more than 3 million unique visitors per month

If they go over, the remedy is merely providing a link to indicate who paid - but not even how much
10/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

A unique visitor isn't someone who attends a #CDNmedia website on a daily or weekly basis

Bill #C76 only counts that person once in a 1-month span

Use of a VPN service (produces new IP address each visit) also makes "unique visitors" impossible to count
11/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

VPN's are now as mainstream as anti-virus programs & any good #tech lawyer can defeat an Elections Canada #C76 claim

Masking IP addresses is such a standard security practice, that it leaves no reliable legal or scientific way to tabulate unique visitors
12/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Bill #C76 is void of safeguards against foreign actors because any foreign interest can use a Canadian surrogate to place political ads

Elections Canada can't surveil Canadian bank records to keep tabs if they're accepting cash from Russians & Americans
13/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Bill #C76 also has no provisions to deal with foreign actors openly gaming the system

Just as Cambridge Analytica established a Canadian subsidiary to interfere with Brexit, nothing is stopping foreign deviants from setting up consulting agency fronts
14/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Bill #C76 doesn't touch "user generated content", also known as social media

Malicious posts made in bad faith, fake news, memes & manipulating voters based on political-psych profiles remains fair game

Tactics Russia used against the US are OK in Canada
15/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Despite the colossal failure of Bill #C76 to address any digital threats whatsoever, #CDNmedia & #CDNlaw are putting farcical emphasis on fines & possible jail time for mainstream news sites that fail to publish their ad sales during the writ period
16/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Bill #C76 bases the 3 million monthly patron threshold on any website's statistics from the year prior

So any new propaganda sites that pop-up on Go Daddy, Medium & Wordpress during the writ period are exempt from having to publish the names of clients
17/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Any partisan interest group or think tank, whether domestic or foreign, can erect propaganda dys-info sites during the writ & take them down after the election to avoid compliance with Bill #C76

It gives new meaning to in-&-out scandals & enables them
18/20 #CDNpoli

Elections Canada has a poor record of investigating political scandals & we're still waiting for the 2011 robocalls report that resulted in voter suppression

Criminalizing an administrative process for mainstream #CDNmedia wont resolve #Elxn43 interference either
19/20 #Elxn43

Bill #C76 is a nothing-to-see-here piece of legislation that embarrasses #CDNpoli & makes Canadian voters an easy target for election interference

Lawmakers advertised to the world-at-large that our approach to defending democracy is naively lax & comical
20/20 #CDNpoli #Elxn43

Moreover, we took no action against Cambridge Analytica & treated Chris Wylie like a celebrity, when in reality he earned Canada countless enemies for interfering in high-stakes foreign elections with complete impunity

#C76 doesn't thwart those vendettas
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